the bike
all the components held up really well during the tour. a pothole in london caused a spoke to break but I'm used to that.
when I changed the cog from 16 to 17t I appreciated the carrier system on my Miche hub for the first time. you don't need a chain whip, only a lockring wrench and you are ready to swap cogs.

the tyres
the first day of my trip was a tough test on the Durano Plus tyres, the route took me trough 30km of gravel paths. the tyres felt reasonable comfortable and I didn't get a puncture! the only downturn was, that I had a really hard time to get them on my Mavic MA2 rims, the nylon bead is really tight. but I probably won't have to do that very often due to the excellent puncture protection. thanks, schwalbe!

the bag
when I first got the bag, I was a little sceptical about the bag being waterproof.
nowadays we are used to high tech fibres and sealed zippers, so waxed cotton with leather straps seemed very old-fashioned to me.
but the bag did it's job perfectly, it was totally waterproof, easy to handle when used with the support rack and it looks really unique. how could I doubt that a british company knows how to design a waterproof bag?
thanks again to carradice for supporting my trip.

I was so glad that I decided to buy armwarmers one day before the tour, it was so cold, especially in the morning.
the restriction of luggage because of the bagsize was no problem at all, I didn't miss anything and I used every item I carried at least once. (except for the suncream)

fortunately there was no major mechanical problem with the bike, but the Trixie and Critical Mass from Pedro handled everything perfectly. the lockring tool on the Trixie is really good to handle due to its thickness and sharp edges on that little tooth. because of the radius of th lockring wrench side you can apply a lot of pressure on the 15mm axle nut wrench. I even did some adjustments on my break with the 10mm wrench located in the middle of the tool. I was sceptical about usability of those wrenches, but they work fine. thanks Pedros for hooking me up with those great little helpers!

aside from chocolate bars, belgian waffles and fruits I ate one powerbar a day and was impressed by the immediate impact it has on your body. when you slowing down and getting hungry, just take one bite and you regain power for at least an hour. ususally I'm not into scientifically designed food, but it works.
I carried just a small bottle of water with me and refilled along the way at cafés, bars or at the lock guards along the canals. helps getting in touch with the locals.

most valuable item
cycling gloves and armwarmers

unecessary item

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